Characteristics and care of the Lathyrus cicera or Almorta de monte

Lathyrus cicera also known as Almorta de monte, Almorta wild, Galgana, Cicérula, Tooth of the dead, Pebble, Lentil forage, Pea or Cicercha . It belongs to the Fabaceae family and is native to Europe (Mediterranean).

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Lathyrus  from Latin that means almorta and Cicera , Greek epithet that means chickpea because of its similarity and use as a substitute for that plant.

Characteristics of the Lathyrus cicera

Annual or perennial herb , glabrous or pubescent, with red glands. The stem is 100 cm, branched with wings.

The leaves are alternate, parpinnate, with a pair of linear-lanceolate leaflets and parallel veins with scattered hairs on the underside.

The inflorescences are pedunculated, bracted, reduced to a single flower.

The flowers are solitary on non-awned peduncles, hermaphrodites, zygomorphic, pentameric. The calyx with welded sepals and teeth longer than the tube.

The papillonaceous corolla and the petals with a nail shorter than the calyx, brown, bluish, with red wings, generally muchronous. The androecium diadelph of 10 stamens and the monocarpelar gynoecium. Blooms in early spring

The fruit is elliptical or trapezoidal, sitting with a keel.

The seeds are prismatic or spherical, with flat or slightly concave faces, smooth, brown, of various colors with a dark tubercle.

Lathyrus cicera care

It is grown for forage, in annual meadows, roadsides, gutters, scrub clearings, and sidewalks. While the legume is edible.

It is a species that requires being in full sun so that it can develop well.

As for the soil, it specifies those that are sandy, loamy or clayey, generally humid.

Watering  should be moderate to avoid waterlogging.

Pruning should be done at the beginning of spring.

It uses insects to pollinate flowers with hermaphroditic reproductive units.


The young seed is harvested and consumed raw.

The tender stems are used as a vegetable, but their abuse can cause neurolastyrism, the symptoms of which are cramps, stiff legs, intestinal pain and diarrhea.


Legume of wide distribution present in grasslands on all types of soils.

The continuous consumption of legumes of this species in the form of flour is linked to the disease (latyrism) that was very frequent in those times of misery.

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